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The Durande

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  1. If you are a Deist, you are not even close to being an Objectivist. You may be philosophicallcy close to being what some of our Founding Fathers were, but not an Objectivist. I am not putting you down or anything. But being "close" means dropping ANY arbitrary ideas and also not joining any organizations which do not even openly state their goals. Freemasonry may let you in on their goals after quite some time, but what would be the reason for you to waste your time? Study Objectivism and deal with ideas openly. That is my advice.
  2. You're welcome. Now and then its suits me just fine to go over there and look around. There is almost always something too good (bad) to pass up. I am more and more convinced that they don't even believe themselves anymore. Branden has been all fluff, Sciaberra is unintelligible, and the bulk of the rest are apologizers.
  3. To me, it is clear that Kelley, in his published writings,for a long time, was able to HIDE what eventually came out in "A Question of Sanction" - that he regarded tolerance as a virtue in the cognitive realm. That's why it WOULD be difficult to immediately dash off a list of fallacies that he wrote. But Objectivism has a history of people hiding their true natures for a while, so why is this case suprising? He never was particularly a great thinker, and just to prove I am not Monday - morning quarterbacking, I will also say that some of the people still attached to ARI are not particularly brilliant. But at least they are not departing from Objectivism and still calling it objectivism. Kelley did and does. Branden did and does. Many others do. And I CAN quote text from any of THEIR writings that show a fundamental departure from Objectivism.
  4. Does the fact that Catholics have done "wrong things" mean that the church IS adequate??? The catholic church, as it exists today, is even worse an institution than it was in past centuries. and it was dreadful then. Anyway, why would any religious person post here?? I wouldn't bring a ouija board to a chess tournament. And you shouldn't bring nonsense here. We are here to get away from nonsense.
  5. It is mentally painful to have to be a flyswatter, but since I that Mr. Speicher has the stomach to do it, so will I. If, for example, one were to go to the TOC home page, and see that they have a heading called "objectivist links" and if you click on it, on of the options is www.nathanielbranden.net and you go to it and see the heading on the bottom for "Ayn Rand and Objectivism" and click on it, you will then see some articles tp choose from. "We're All Libertarians Now" is a particularly good example of Branden's approach. IF ANYONE ON EARTH IS A "SOCIAL METAPHYSICIAN," HE IS. The following is a direct quote:"In any event, today libertarianism is part of our language and is commonly understood to mean the advocacy of minimal government. Ayn Rand is commonly referred to as "a libertarian philosopher." Folks, we are all libertarians now. Might as well get used to it." He is actually serious. The thrust of the piece is, if a big enough group of people see libertarianism as compatible or even synonymous w/Objectivism, then it is TRUE. If you read the article, it shows that even in the 50s, Brandens primary concern was having a popular movement, adding adherents left and right, without concern for their actual views. They all want to mask this foolishness as "tolerance" now.
  6. I agree with this, but, more succinctly: Those who don't believe in individual rights have no business claiming rights. Claiming sovereignty is not equal to earning it. I doubt ANY area (even, say, 50,000 sq ft of anyones choice) of the former soviet union has a majority or even a meaningful minority of people who grasp individual rights. Part of the problem of being a dictatorship is that even when it falls - there is a lot of cleaning up to do. (An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Whoever formulated that idea first could have written all of the history books) .
  7. thanks. the fact that demolition charrges aren't put anywhere but the bottom of the builings is something that i didn't know - and is crucial to he debate
  8. not in order 1. Paths of Glory - may be the best war movie ever - Kubrick at his best 2. The Hustler - perfect performances 3. We the Living - Alida Valli's may be the greatest performance by a female lead ever 4. Life is Beautiful - as good as this is w/subtitles, if you can understand italian it is twice as good 5. Chocolat - never would have rented it but for plug by dr. peikoff 6. Gattaca - another film (like chocolat) that could have been written by an objectivist. 7. The Godfather 1 and 2. Not 3. 8. Sleuth - If you haven't seen it - go rent it. (olivier and caine) 9. Two Women - Sophia Loren's performance was, I believe, the first oscar winner for actress or actor in a foreign film until Begnini in Life is Beautiful. She rarely ever got the roles that matched her ability. 10. Crimson Tide - had to get Hackman and Denzel in Here
  9. I did not mean to put this in aesthectics. (That would be quite sick of me) I hope the moderators can put this in (Misc.) thanks!
  10. Let me start by emphasising that I am not, I repeat, not, a conspiacy theorist. But I have some questions about the world trade center terrorist attacks. Hopefully, someone here, with adequate knowledge about the physics and facts involved can answer some questions that I am trying to debate ith an acquantance of mine who is a conspiracy theorist. 1. Could wtc #7 have toppled neatly (in about 8 seconds) and looked as if it was a professional demolition job, simply due to fires smoldering all day in the lower floors? And even if diesel tanks blew up in the basement, would it have toppled like that? 2. Could wtcs 1&2 have toppled neatly to the ground the way they did, simply from the fires in the buildings ( supposedly melting and/or weakening the steel structure?) 3. Let me put extra EMPHASIS on the fact that I am arguing AGAINST this conspiracy theorist, not trying to play devil's advocate like they always do. (but, in conversations with some firemen and engineers that I know, I have run into some skepticism about the way that things have been reported as happened) So, in this case, i do feel that I am not aruing against the arbitrary. Personally, I feel that the reporting of the events on 9/11 was accurate, not because I inherently trust the media and government (who could in this day and age?), but because I fail to see the motive for a cover-up. And I seriously object to anyone (my acquantance included) who thinks it was all arranged by some members of either our gov. and/or our intelligence community to put the Patriot Act in place. Also, I don't see any major problems with the Patriot Act, because, even before it, if the gov. wanted tp invade anyone's privacy - it could. I am well-schooled enough to know that any time a gov official with the ability wants to invade my privacy it can do so quite easily, Patriot Act or no Patriot Act. Anyway, I would appreciate any answers dealing with the physics and chemistry involved in the wtc bombings. ***Please dont give replies that deal with me debating with a conspiracy theorist. I am quite aware of the fact that one does not argue with the arbitrary. Like I have said, my discussions with engineers have led me to believe that, at least in the case of wtc #7, arguments for a cover-up are not completely arbitrary. Thanks in advance for any replies
  11. I can reccommend Double Crossing by Erika Holzer. Eye for an Eye is also good, but not as good.
  12. If it is at all financially possible - even if you both have to borrow the money - go on a vacation. A vacation from the 9-5 routine. Go to some other part of the world. For many reasons. First, because it will put the romance back - adventures always do. Romance, in turn, will remind each of you what you are living for - CONCRETELY. That is to say, most objectivists, as knowledgable as they are, tend to forget the simple pleasures: eating, sex, physical exertion, play, while dwelling exclusively that their lives ought to have some "goal". It is true that we should have purpose, but only if it makes us happy. Another reason is that, after some time in another country, I always feel great anticipation to get back to work. And back to America - its amazing what we take for granted in this country. If a person's job has got them depressed here - just imagine living in a place where one has very little opportunity or choice. We are truly living in a paradise here in America, and everyone, including me, needs to be reminded of that from time to time.
  13. Perhaps I could say it better: I forsee the destruction of this country. If anyone thinks there is potential for government wrongdoing(constitutionally) via the patriot act, imagine a "patriot act" written and enforced by the United Nations!!! If we elect a president who so clearly wants us to be tied down to some world-governing body such as the U.N., then, yes, we will get what we deserve. If at the point when the U.N. starts to make rules for us regarding patents, copywrights, or even our currency, I do not take up arms, then yes, I will be to blame. These steps are forseeable. It is obvious that one-world government is tantamount to the death of America. What I should have said is that I welcome justice. Justice would be the destruction of this country if we let these things happen. They will definitely happen if we had some back to back 8 year terms of kerry, then H. clinton, or god knows who. Bush, aside from his mysticism, puts America first. Kerry puts France, or you fill in the blank, first He has NO INTEREST in the well being of Americans.
  14. I just read UNFIT FOR COMMAND. There is no possible way, after reading that book, to vote for Kerry. He is a worse human being than you can possibly imagine. I will lose all respect for our institution of government if he is elected commander-in-chief. I will not fight to "buy time," or anything else. I will welcome the destruction of this country. If you thought Clintion or Gore were power-lusting weasels, this guy makes them look like Jefferson and Madison. I have a lot of respect for Leonard Peikoff. He is a first-rate and TRUE objectivist. But he hadn't read this book when he said he considered Kerry the correct choice. I hope he reads it. No matter how much of a zealot Bush is, I would rather have St Augustine running things than Kerry. Kerry will hand us to the U.N. if he has the time. We will cease to be a sovereign country. He not only has no love for America, you could make a good case that he actually hates America. He is actual HUMAN GARBAGE. I don't throw that description around lightly. There are thousands of men in our prisons that have more character than him. It pains me to know that people like him actually exist - at my expense, no less. If he's elected, this country is a joke.
  15. The founders did include a clause that put an end to the slave trade as of 1808. And what should he have done with his slaves? Be sure to think it through before giving a quick answer.
  16. I believe it is nihilism, rather than relativism, that has made our culture so sickening.Hippies, as such (sheep), led to no ideas. The worst of them adopted nihilism, the "best" - marxism. Marxists, though they exist in decent numbers, have no real influence anymore. Our culture now is nihilist. Those on the right - starting after Goldwater(who I believe to have been our last possible policital choice of any merit) - have either sided with religion or joined the rank of pragmatists. Religion offers nothing "this-worldly" to combat nihilsm, and in fact are likely to "turn the other cheek." Pragmatists cannot combat ANYTHING in principle. THEY LACK PRINCIPLES.
  17. DonGalt, This is actually a VERY simple idea to grasp (If you are honest and willing to try to understand it) Imagine a group of people on a deserted island, say 31 people. They simply decide that 2 will be policemen, 3 will be jurists, and the other 26 will be the legislative body. You decide this is not for you. Who are you to then say that the other 30 have no right to freely associate and form this government?????? (i understand all of what you say about the united states government enacting all those bad laws - NOBODY HERE IS DEFENDING THEIR RIGHT TO DO THAT. Ayn Rand said clearly - "There is no 'right to enslave'.") But here, objectivists are merely asserting that they have a right to form a PROPER government for the boundaries in which they live. I am sure that ABSOLUTELY everyone here would agree that you are free to not participate in - or pay taxes to - that government. Your piece of land would not be taken either. BUT - you would not be "FREE" to violate the other people's rights - or you would be open to receiving - THEIR CHOSEN FORM OF PUNISHMENT. They would, of course, not be open to the option of violating your rights, either. (Just as we Americans can't go onto an Indian Reservation and murder one of them with immunity). ****Key Point**** You would benefit from the existence of the other 30, but this isn't really the point. They wouldn't possibly do anything to harm you, either - if they were objectivists. Even if they DID harm you, their laws WOULD punish them. You CANT lose anything by having a government that abides by proper principles. You can only gain. ****THe fact that a 100% proper government has never been formed is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT. And, I will also admit that the fact that a perfect ANARCHY has NEVER even come close to being BENEFICIAL TO ANYBODY is irrelevant. What is relevant, is that we are not EMPIRICISTS, or SKEPTICS, who would have to try anarchy with any wide range of people(some psychopath, some mentally ill, some mystical, and some communist, - to know that it would not work. And what is most relevant is, I repeat, WHAT RIGHT WOULD IT BE OF YOURS TO RESTRICT OUR FREEDOM OF ASSOSIATION AND METHOD OF DEALING WITH PEOPLE WHEN THEY DECIDE TO INITIATE THE USE OF FORCE????????????????? It is anarchists who propose to violate rights, not objectivists. Talking about what happened in Somalia, Iceland, and also the United States is IRRELEVANT to a discussion about PRINCIPLES. over and out TODD
  18. I stated it so well that I just have to repeat it: Years from now, after having Ayn Rand's ideas out there for all too see for a century, if this country manages to get itself into that kind of trouble ----- yes, almost everyone in this country will have deserved it. Ursus, These good, just people out there you talk about.... .. .almost every one of them out there has heard of or read at least something by Ayn Rand, or a least been exposed to her by degrees of sepapration. ----- they are almost ALL indifferent to ANY ideas or thought - MUCH LESS hers. We have all run into that. People, and countries, do get what they deserve. Because A is A.
  19. Ursus, I simply meant it in the same light as Francicso's "witnessing the farce" or in the sense that all in Galts Gulch could look on at the impending, and actual, chaos and not lift a finger. I agree with their actions (or inactions), and I repeat that I would do the same, and, yes, find the whole thing QUITE interesting. I made it clear that I am no anarchist, but that doesn't change the fact that JUSTICE is a metaphysical fact. People do, and WILL, get what they deserve. Years from now, if this country will have gone a century with Ayn Rand's ideas out there, and somehow still manages to slip into chaos and civil war, pretty darn near everyone in this country will have deserved it. Those of us few who don't have deserved it, will at least have had the satisfaction of knowing it. It will be a tragedy, much in the sense of Kira's death. PS. I hope this wont be taken to mean that I am not for "buying time" as it is put by many on this board. I am just saying that, if there is no more time to buy, life will still have to go on, and that I will sure see to it that I am fit to live, at least for a while, in a chaotic country with civil unrest or wars going on. AND,YES I will still find that life "interesting"
  20. Betsy, Do you make the kind of matches I can strike on the pavement or the ones you can only use on the matchbox? Seriously, I could use a match. I need to have my fire lit. If you know any Kay Ludlows, point them in my direction please. Thanks.
  21. I am an English Teacher while in Italy - which probably wont be for a while - as long as those life-hating psychopath terrorists are saying that the streets of Italy will flow with blood unless they pull their troops out. For such a mystic/semi-socialist country, Italy is not too bad an ally, even though their troop support amounts to about nothing. Next to the rest of continental Europe they are heroic! Here, I have several hats. Oxnard, CA - inventory control at a produce cooler (I counted strawberries.) Rome, NY - Opened a Pizzeria (Too much work, not enough money) Fort Meyers,FL - settling catastrphe insurance claims (for a few months-starting next week) Austin, TX - (hope to be there by January)(something to do with golf would be nice, but I'll probably stay in the insurance claims field.) BUT ALL OF THAT IS MEANINGLESS. I am going to be a novelist. I have 120 pages done, about 200-250 to go.
  22. Recent Movies that glorify creation of values or, at least, creators. THE EDGE - excellent pick, stephen. (and Alec Baldwin dies - that's so just) GATTACA - can't really think of any way that I'd change it. CHOCOLAT - peikoff was right - and i never would have rented it but for his reccommendation DINNER RUSH - Little Known film about a man keeping his restaurant from the mob and passing it to his son. to be continued...
  23. The only hedge against some monetary disaster that I can think of is : Be Marketable (that is:know how to do something well that people will always want or need). Even this,however, is useless if you're headed to a concentration camp, or Siberia. On a positive note, I don't think the latter will happen in this country, people are basically freedom loving, spread out, and in many cases, well-armed. What can happen if there is a monetary collapse is chaos and civil war - which would at least be an interesting show. For once I would like to see panic in the eyes of the scum running this country - a "winston-tunnel-like" feeling. ***Please** by no means gather from this post that I have ANY anarchist leanings. I just say that if it comes to that, so be it. I feel more prepared than most. - The day is coming anyway - Objectivism may indeed be gaining momentum, but, as I have heard Leonard Peikoff say on occasion, things in this country will probably get worse before they can get better. I think that for people to learn to respect the sources of material wealth, they may have to lose it for a while. Atlas Shrugged didn't just appear in Ayn's mind because it is a brilliant story - it probably came because she, on some level, saw it as a natural progression of the way things were going. Things, I would argue, are worse. On every level, every branch. The only thing is - we have her works. That is our only long-run chance.
  24. In my senior year at Cal-State Northridge, I actually had a professor take my grade on a paper down from an "A" to a "B-" due to a couple instances of using "he" and, most notably the use of the word "manpower" She said that the words "human resources" is correct in that case - "manpower" was gender-biased language. By the way, the course was Titled: U.S. History 1865-Present, but she managed to make the last third of it about gay and lesbian history. Amazing.
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